Chapter 1

Oh shit, I think to myself. We are all about to die.

“You can’t talk to my Master that way,” screeches Mira huffily.

Reaching up, I put my hand on her tail and stroke it quickly. “Now, now, Mira. Don’t make the, hmm, man upset. I am sure he doesn’t mean ill towards us?” I ask worriedly at the tall Sha’ara.

The Sha’ara in question looks at Mira with thoughtful eyes and then looks back down at me

“You are not what we expected.” He tells me.

“Well, to be honest, we did not expect you all to be here on floor 30,” I tell him

“Fair. Come.” With that, he turns around and yells out at his warriors, “Safeguard the perimeter!”

Looking at my group, I whisper, “All right, but that doesn’t answer my question,”

“Just go with it, Jason,” Michael says. “Maybe there is a reason they are here? And how the fuck do they know about you?” With that, he slaps my back and follows the Sha’ara with Misha right behind him. Shrugging my shoulders, I follow him with the girls in tow.

We head away from the level gate, and into what I can only describe as a jungle. There are tall trees, vines, and overgrown vegetation everywhere. And it’s damp as we step away from the gate. There is a path we are walking, but I can see that even then, some warriors are up ahead, hacking at the vegetation. Looking around, I spot some lookouts in the trees. We end up following the tall Sha’ara for about fifteen minutes, but nothing is said, even by us.

Finally, we come into a clearing, and I see it’s a sizeable village, with huts mostly. I don’t see one building at all. The Sha’ara takes us to one of the bigger huts and stops in front of it.

“She will see you now,” he says cryptically.

She will see us now? Who will see us now, I think to myself? He points to the curtain that is across the door. Looking at my friends, they shrug their shoulders, not having any ideas either. Walking forward to move the curtains aside, and I am about to step in when the tall Sha’ara says, “Only Dragonheart and his dragon,” he intones.

Looking back, I see that he has put his large arm across the entrance to stop my friends from coming with me. Rasha is about to say something, but I lift my hand up. “It’s fine. I have the best protection right here,” I say, petting Mira, which causes her to purr. Damn, how the hell does a dragon purr? Looking at Mira, Rasha nods. I know she isn’t happy about it.

Turning back, I walk into the hut, and the curtain falls back down. I walk into an almost empty room, except there is a sleeping area off to the left. In the middle of the room, there is an older Sha’ara sitting there. She has gray fur and is so ancient she is hunched over. Walking towards her, she looks up at me. I can see that both her eyes are cloudy with white.

“Ah, so the vision was real.” She says, in a frail voice. “I thought I was going crazy when I had the first vision over 80 years ago.” At which point, she cackles. “But now I know I was right, and they were not.”

Looking at her oddly, I sit down in front of her, and her eyes follow me. Visions? And if she is blind, she followed me, sitting down as if she can see. Her eyes even stayed with mine.

“I am not sure I understand,” I tell her truthfully.

“I can understand, here is an old batty woman telling you that she had visions of you over 80 years ago.” She says with a smile.

How can she have had visions of me, if this place wasn’t created till like less than a year ago? How do I explain to her that her Realm was built on a structure that was a Quantum computer? Or how the time was sped up so fast. That what happened in a year was for this Realm thousands of years? This is not making any sense.

“You have some confusion?” she asks me with a soft smile. She might be old, but even I can tell that in her youth she must have been a beautiful Sha’ara. Her fur, while gray, it’s spotless, and has a luster to it, that shows she still takes care of herself at her age. But wait, she said visions 80 years ago?

“Do you have a name?” I ask her.

“Ah, I do! We should get the formalities out of the way, Jason Dragonheart. I am called Panthrami.” She says, bowing at me while sitting down.

“Err, Panthrami, how is it you know my name?” I ask her in shock.

“That is because I am a Seer. I have been watching you grow as a man, since the day you were born, in the Realm you come from. And I must say, it is quite an odd one. I have never seen such wonders as those I get in a glimpse of my visions of you. And before you ask, I have had these visions for 80 years, but you do not seem to be my age.” She says, shaking her head ruefully.

“You have been watching me since I was born?” I ask incredulously. How is that even possible! GFL only created this game World less than a year ago! This makes no sense.

“Yes, I was granted my first vision of you when I was 19. I was not sure what it meant. It showed me you being born, but you had a dragon sleeping next to you in your crib. She would watch over you as you slept. That would be the dragon you have on your shoulders.” She says to me with a radiant smile.

“Mira, how is that possible? Do you know what she means?” I ask her. Not getting an answer from her, I look up at her on my shoulder. She has a confused look.

“I am not sure, Jason. But this event that she speaks of, the sleeping with a babe in his crib. I did so, as it was a request from my father, Mutmaha. But Jason, that was something I only did once, and it was over 5,000 years ago.” She says confusion in her voice.

Looking at Panthrami for an answer, she gives me one. “Time does not always flow the same in all Realms, Jason. How old are you now?” She asks me softly.

“I am 42, but Panthrami. That makes little sense. How can you see me in your visions over 80 years ago, and Mira is saying she was in my crib when I was a babe, over 5,000 years ago?” I ask her, now really fucking losing my mind. How the hell can this even be?

“Time flows differently everywhere, you being a Demigod should know this,” she tells me.

“What do you mean?” I ask her, not understanding her reference.

“Does not your own personal Realm run at a different time speed?” She asks me with a small smile.

What the fuck? How does she know about my personal pocket Realm, or my Demigod’s Dimensional World? I mean, I just got the damn thing. And I only know about it because I ran away to it. And she isn’t wrong. The speed it runs at the time dilation is different. I had spent over an hour there, but to everyone else it was 1.5 seconds. The dilation there is 3,600:1. But that still begs the question. How is that even possible, she had visions of me if this place was not even created yet before I was born? Or wait, was it?

I have been told that this Realm, with the Realm of the Angels, Demons, and even Dragons, was created only once GLF created their Game World on the Quantum servers. But was that true? Even Bradard said it was only after that event happened, that access to my Realm the Forbidden Realm, with Earth in it, became accessible. What if it was always there? But it had been hidden somehow and the event that GFL did only connected it to the rest of the Cosmos?

Quest Update: What Is Hidden Can Always Be Revealed

You have figured out that maybe what was you were told might not be true. That just perhaps the Realms were connected somehow? And that the Realms were not created because of an Event on yours? Now you’re getting somewhere! Good job!

What the hell? And is that sarcasm? I honestly can’t tell with the way that snarky commentator wrote it. But wait, that makes no sense. Looking back at my Quest journal, I see that the Quest talks about magic.

New Hidden Quest
What Is Hidden Can Always Be Revealed
Type: Cosmos
Difficulty: Extremely Hard
Level requirement: N/A
Prerequisites: Ability See Magic Master level
Hooray! You have discovered a hidden Questline. This Questline is to figure out how magic within the Cosmos works, in relation to everyday use. Can you find what the Gods themselves were not able to?
Rewards: Exp: 1,000,000
Rewards: 10,000 gold
Rewards: Gain 10 Demigod levels
Gain 50,000 Faction with The Being

So, does that mean that magic was the way it hid my Realm and the others? But if The Being wasn’t the one who veiled my Realm, and these other Realms, why? Jesus Christ, add more to my list of things to find out. Sighing, I look back at Panthrami.

“Sorry, was looking at something, and finding something out, that is just making me more confused,” I tell her lamely.

“Do not worry, young one. I am sure you will figure it out,” Panthrami tells me with a warm smile.

“Figure it out? Do you know what I am supposed to figure out?” I ask her, mildly shocked. Does she know my Quest?

“I am a Seer, and while I cannot see everything, I know that you have something hidden, you are trying to find,” she says cryptically.

“Can I ask, why are the Sha’ara here? And you don’t look at all like your typical Sha’ara? If anything, you seem all much bigger than the ones I have seen in Town. Why are you living inside a dungeon, specifically on level 30? This is supposed to be a dungeon that is instanced, or that we would have to ourselves. The only thing that should be here are the monsters in it.” I ask her wondering what they are doing here.

“Ah, but what if we are monsters in this dungeon?” She asks me with an enormous grin.

Suddenly, I am up and in a combat pose for her attack. Shit, How could I have been so stupid! But then Panthrami holds up her hand. “But peace. I have a story to tell you. You are correct, we are monsters, but we were not always. After my vision of you, I know that you would come through here, but I did not wish to miss you. So, I made a deal with the core of this dungeon. In exchange for allowing me and my picked warriors to stay here, on a level I know you would come, we agreed to become its monsters. That is why we are bigger than or brethren. We have now been here for over 30 years. We have become things that others would seek out, to gain levels. But in exchange, we do not die.”

“Why would you do such a thing?” I asked, horrified at the idea. They gave up their lives just to meet me here?

“For me to meet you, I must live passed my normal lifespan. This was the only way. While I am a Seer, and it honored me to have seen you growing up, I am also here to warn you, which is why I needed to be alive.”

“What can be so important, Panthrami, that you would give yourself up to becoming a mob in a dungeon?” I ask her softly.

“The fate of the Realms. What you seek with that which you are trying to find that is hidden. It’s not just understanding magic. It’s understanding the fundamental way the Cosmos works. But that is not my warning. My warning is this. Being Strong is not enough; you must show compassion and love.” She says. That last part, though, is not her own voice. There is power behind that voice, and the timbre of it is very much male. What the fuck?

Looking at her, she is blinking, like just waking up from her sleep. Seeing the shocked look on my face, she smiles warmly.

“Ah, I can tell by your look that he passed the message on.” She says with a sad sigh.

“He?” I ask her.

“We do not have a name for him, but he is all around. Something tells me he is more than a God.” She says wistfully.

“If it’s I think who I think it is, many of the Gods call him, The Being,” I tell her, with a sigh, “But what happens now? Do you all leave and go back outside and to your homes?” I ask her.

“No, now we stay here. The contract with the dungeon core was not for a specific time frame. But until it does itself.”

“And how long is that?” I ask her, shocked.

“For a dungeon, this powerful? Probably centuries, until it gets stronger itself and then it might be longer. But do not fret Jason. This action was something I accepted willingly and those warriors with me. We did not go into this, not knowing our fate,” she says sadly with a smile at me.

“Centuries!” I cry horrified again. How the fuck is that one message, of love and or whatever, worth having hundreds of warriors and herself trapped here forever? That fucking pisses me off. Why the fuck would The Being allow something like this? I can just imagine that as mobs, they would get killed, feel pain, and then be resurrected again, in order to do this over and over. And I was going to send my own recruits from my Guild into this dungeon, but not if it will do this to them! No fucking way am I going to send others to inflict pain. Monsters I get, but these people?

“Wait! You said a dungeon core, and you had made a deal. What is that?” I asked her something niggling at the back of my mind.

“Dungeon cores are the beings, or essence that run this dungeon. It’s what allows monsters to respawn, provides the gold and treasures you find. It was it that we made a deal with.” She says, her head tilted sideways. “You do not know of this? Ah, I guess you would not, as one thing I never saw in my visions of you, was magic.” She says as if I had confirmed a puzzle to her.

“No, we don’t have that where I come from. I am just finding out that in my Realm, there is no magic at all.” I tell her, trying to think something through. What was it about some books I read about dungeons that were sentient? Shit, why can’t I think of it? Oh wait! Internet, shit, forgot I still have access.

Opening a browser, I open a search engine, and I search for dungeon core. Shit, that’s a lot of hits. Looking through the links and the information, it seems that if it follows the same as what the books are saying, the core is usually in the dungeon somewhere, and it protected as that is what controls everything. But also what is the brains of the core, or the core is the brain. Why the fuck does my Earth have so much information on this as stories, if we don’t have magic? Another thing to my fucking list.

“How did you contact this core before?” I ask Panthrami, curious how she made that contract.

“If you speak out loud and it is interested if what you want to talk about, it will speak.” She says, like telling me it was sunny outside. That’s it?

“Hello? Dungeon? Dungeon core?” I ask her, feeling like an idiot talking to the floor. Not getting a response, I try again.

“Hello? I wish to talk to you about the contract you did with Panthrami and her people?” I say more forcefully.

Then, all around me and from the ground, a deep voice that sounds like the earth itself says, “I am not interested in dealing. The deal that they made stands.”

Here we go. Progress. “You cannot release them from their contract, as what she, and they, did was not of their own choosing.”

“It matters not. A deal is a deal. Unless you wish to change the terms of the deal?”

“Change how?” I ask it, knowing where this is going already, making me sneer.

“I will release them, if you, and those of your party who came in, take on their contract.” It booms all around me.

Mother fuck, so in order to get rid of their contract, I would need to step in and take over. “Give me a moment,” I say, stalling for time. At least it was willing to talk. I need more time to think. Moving myself to my Demigod Realm, I am back in my land with grass as far as the eye can see. But I don’t want to be away long. So bringing up my spells, I look to see what I can use, maybe. Hmm. Here is one that might help me find that damn core.

Level 11 spell Demigod’s Farsight. This spell allows you to see anywhere in your Realms.

And technically, this Realm is mine, so it cannot hide from me. Now, what do I do once I find it? I mean, I need to get to it, right? Oh, phase shift! I had thought of a good use that would be for Rasha, but maybe I can use it now, I think with a grin—looking at the spell to make sure.

Level 5 spell Demigod’s Phase Shift. This spell gives you the capability to walk through any solid object. This works on all material, including magical defenses that are one Demigod level below yours. This spell can be placed on another person. Maximum 2. Duration: 1 hour. It can be combined with invisibility spells.

Yes! I can invis to it, so it won’t see me coming. But will an hour be enough time? Will teleport work? I can’t gate to the core, since I have never been to where it is.

Level 3 spell Demigod’s Teleport. This spell will teleport you within 20 feet of your current location. Line of sight only.

Fuck, 20 feet? Though, what if I use invisibility so it cannot see me, after I find where it is, and just cast teleport till I am next to it? But again, then what? I don’t want to kill it. Because honestly, I want this dungeon intact. But if it means releasing Panthrami and her people, I am willing to lose it the dungeon itself. I know I cannot let them live like this. I might have to threaten it, and lose out in the end. But what will happen if I kill it? What happens to them and the monsters in here? Shit, there is just too much to factor in. You know what? Fuck it. I need to do what I feel is right. So, pushing myself back into Destiny’s Realm, I appear just as I was before, still standing from getting up in a battle stance earlier.

“Let me work things out in my head a moment,” I say out loud, and I close my eyes.

Using Demigod’s Farsight, I look around closer to me, trying to find this core. I don’t even know what I am looking for. I have my eyes closed, but I am not doing anything else to give away, like moving my head as if searching. Where the fuck are you, you shit for brains. Come on. Looking closer, I decided to look down at my feet with Demigod’s Farsight. Ah-ha! Gotcha, you motherfucker. I can see about 100 feet under me. There is a room that is well guarded with a ton of monsters. I guess it’s trying to protect itself. It thinks I am just a Player. It doesn’t know I am a Demigod.

With my eyes closed, I cast the following spells in order. Demigod’s Strength for an extra +50 to my STR, Demigod’s Protection,  so I can take 10,000 damage if it tries anything. Then Summon shadows, and before it has a chance to think about what I am doing, I cast Demigod’s Phase shift followed by Demigod’s Teleport 5 times in quick succession. It makes me dizzy, but then I am next to the core. It has a barrier in front of it, but as it’s not a Demigod level one, I walk through it until I am standing in front of the core. I hear a commotion outside the barrier and turning slightly to look, and I see that the monsters have all formed up lines in a circle around the core, roughly 20 deep. And some of those monsters are huge fuckers. With a grin, I reach out and place my hand under the core, so it’s almost touching it. Then I let go of Demigod’s Phase shift. Suddenly the core is in my hands.

With my other hand, I cast Demigod’s Pheonix’s Fire and place it right next to the core, where it can feel the heat. At least I hope it can feel the heat. Suddenly I feel electricity hit me through my handing of the core.

You have taken 200 points of damage from a Dungeon Core.

“Try that again, and I fry you to a molten ball of metal,” I say through gritted teeth. Then again, I get the shock and another notification.

You have taken 300 points of damage from a Dungeon Core.

“All right, want to play it that way, say goodnight you fucking piece of metal,” I say grunting in pain and bring my hand with my Demigod’s Pheonix’s Fire toward it

“Wait! Wait! I surrender!” it screams at me.

“To late, should have dealt with me earlier, now you will be useful as a paperweight in my new home,” I tell it. I mean, I won’t, but I need this thing scared shitless.

“Please!” it sobs. “I don’t want to die. I will do anything you want.” Wait, did it just change its voice. Whatever still not dealing with it.

“Call off your horde of monsters first,” I threaten it.

“Done!” It screams. Looking outside the barrier, which I now see seems to be made of diamond, I see that monsters start to shuffle away, with confused looks. So it can control them, and their confusion is they aren’t sure how they got there.

“Next, you will vow, right now with the Gods as your witnesses, that you are my property and will not seek to harm me, and will do whatever I tell you from now on. Or I will destroy you here and now,” I tell it with an evil laugh. All right, that might have been over the top.

The core is quiet and says nothing for seconds, making me starting to worry. But then it says in a monotone, sexless voice. “If I do, do you promise not to harm me, and take care of me?”

What the fuck, it’s negotiating now? And what’s wrong with his voice? I knew it sounded like it was changing, but this is fucked up. Well, seeing as I actually do want the dungeon to myself and safe too, I guess in a way, I do not wish it harm.

“I shall,” I tell it, nodding my head.

“Very well. I do hereby allow myself to be the property of… What’s your name?” It asks me suddenly.

“Jason Dragonheart,” I say, going with the name I much prefer lately.

“I do hereby allow myself to be the property of Jason Dragonheart, with the understanding that he will take care of me always,” it says.

The Gods have witnessed this. So let it be.

Congratulations, you now are the owner of (1) dungeon core.

Dungeon cores are rare, and can bring wealth and fame to those who own one. This one is a level 100 dungeon with monsters that are 1 level x 0.5 the level at maximum on their floors. This dungeon is over 1000 years old. The value of this dungeon in gold, treasures, and monsters is over 2 million gold in assets. As the new owner of this dungeon, you can allocate where resources are placed, or you can allow the dungeon core to take care of this for you. Which do you wish to do?

Shit, there is no way I am going to allocate or run this thing. I am sure that is a full-time job in of itself. So I think the dungeon core takes care of it, hoping that will work.

Very well, the dungeon core has been granted leave to assign and place resources, including and not limited to gold, armor, weapons, jewels, items, resources, and monsters. It has been notified of this request.

Suddenly, the metal ball in my hand turns into a crystal clear as a diamond, and then it says in a very female voice. “Hi! My name is Crystal. Teach me, Master!” and it giggles.

Oh, Fucksakes, really? I think groaning in mental and emotional pain.